NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal Becomes PointsBet Brand Ambassador in Australia

  • The former NBA star will be the face of the sportsbook operator’s 2021 Australian brand campaign
  • US sports, especially pro basketball, are rapidly increasing in popularity among Australian bettors
  • Shaq's SHAQPOT trademark may be launching a website that offers sports-related gambling 
  • PointsBet has also been expanding in the US market, launching online sportsbooks in six states
Shaquille O'Neal smiles for the camera
Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal signed a deal to become a brand ambassador for PointsBet in Australia. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

“Number one pick”

Shaquille O’Neal is now a brand ambassador for PointsBet’s Australian operations. The NBA legend will be the face of the sports betting company’s 2021 brand campaign in Australia, covering television, mobile, digital, and social media marketing.

PointsBet Australia issued a tweet on January 25 announcing the new partnership:

PointsBet Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Fahey spoke about the deal in a press announcement. He said the “iconic figure […] was our clear number one pick to represent the PointsBet brand in Australia.” Fahey went on to note that US sports, especially pro basketball, are the fastest-growing sports markets among bettors in Australia. 

O’Neal also expressed his excitement at joining the PointsBet team, saying: “The rise of responsible sports betting is really exciting.” A portion of O’Neal’s compensation as brand ambassador will be in the form of PointsBet equity. 

O’Neal’s business interests

These days, O’Neal is a television analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA. He is also involved in philanthropic activities as well as a number of businesses.

SHAQPOT would be looking at launching a website that offers sports-related gambling

The NBA legend clearly appears to have an interest in the sports betting space. Authentic Brands Group LLC (ABG) is a brand management company that manages O’Neal’s likeness and marketing rights through the ABG-SHAQ LLC subsidiary. In October 2020, ABG-SHAQ LLC filed a trademark request for the term ‘SHAQPOT’ with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The filing states that SHAQPOT would be looking at launching a website that offers sports-related gambling. However, no further information about this possible venture is currently available.

O’Neal’s likeness is also used as part of games on the myVEGAS social casino, a free-to-play platform operated by PlayStudios in partnership with MGM Resorts International. The games do not offer any cash prizes, but they provide rewards for players to redeem at MGM-owned properties.

The NBA star played 19 seasons in the league before retiring in 2011. His 19-year career saw ‘Shaq’ win four NBA Championships. His awards include NBA Most Valuable Player and First Ballot Hall of Famer, as well as being a 15-time NBA All-Star.

PointsBet’s US expansion

Flutter Entertainment-owned PointsBet started out as a sportsbook focusing on the Australian market and has since entered the ever-expanding US sector.

online sportsbooks live in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, and Michigan

PointsBet now has online sportsbooks live in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, and Michigan. The operator has been busy signing deals with a number of notable US sports teams and organizations. Some of its new partners include the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers, Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bears, and the PGA Tour.

In August 2020, PointsBet became the official sports betting partner of NBCUniversal (NBCU). As part of the five-year media deal, NBCU got a stake worth almost 5% of the operator’s business. The agreement saw PointsBet’s integration into the various NBCU sports assets, such as NBC Sports networks and the Golf Channel.

In addition to sportsbooks, PointsBet is also set to launch its first US online casino through a partnership with Bally’s Corporation in New Jersey.